The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

How Do You Feel About Paperless Billing?

Some of us love paying our bills online. If you’re on the road or one of those people who doesn’t pay every bill two weeks in advance, so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not your bill was received in time, this is the easiest way to go.

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Unfortunately, there are some bills that won’t just let you pay online. They want you to sign up for their full paperless billing system, which they say will help save money because they don’t have to pay for paper or postage. You get your bill by email, you can check your account online, and THEN you can pay your bills online.

How one feels about it overall depends on what they’re looking to achieve. According to this article by Credit Today, not only are there big cost savings, but companies going that route can expect a six to ten day reduction in the invoice-to-payments cycle. That’s big, because obviously the quicker you can get paid, the easier it is to whatever you want to do with that money.

Another positive aspect of paperless billing is environmental, as it helps save trees, cuts processing of paper which helps the ozone and helps fight air pollution. Some companies actually make an offer that if you switch to a paperless billing system that they’ll donate $1 to an environmental cause of some sort. Some vendors try to hit you with what they call a “reduction” in your monthly bill, but that’s after they raise the fees to encourage you to go paperless; that’s sneaky!

We don’t disagree with some of the positives of paperless billing. But, where there are positives, there are also negatives.

One, many people don’t read their email on a daily basis, and though some people also don’t read all of their daily mail, at least if they see certain envelopes they’re used to seeing they know it’s a bill.

Two, many of these emails could end up in spam filters, or get hung up by bad server connections, even misdirection. It’s rare that any of us don’t receive a paper bill from someone we have an existing account with, but there are times when you might not receive a bill via email for whatever reason, and companies will immediately remove you from online services. Here and there, trying to pay a bill online there are server issues, sometimes lasting for days.

Three, when you set up a service like this, you can only have the email go to one email address. With regular mail, if you’re married, either of you can open the envelope. And, if something happens to the person whose name the account is in, with regular mail the other person can take care of it; with email, the other person may never think to check your email account, and that’s assuming they even know how to get into it.

Our overall gripe is not having the option of just paying whomever we want to pay on their site without being forced to sign up for some program, whose intention isn’t to make it easy for us, no matter what they say, but to make it easier for them to get their money quicker.

If we have access to our bank accounts online, we can always use their services to pay our bills online. This is an option many of our clients employ. Some banks allow you to automate payments monthly, but that might not work across the board. It better to have control over when you’re making your payments, no matter whether you want your bills by mail or are willing to go paperless.

We’d be interested in hearing how other people feel about paperless billing. Is this something you do, something you’d consider, or something you’re not interested in?

10 Things Accountants Can Do For You

The very first post on this blog, after introducing ourselves, was one titled 5 Reasons You Might Need An Accountant. It’s taken a while to follow it up with another post on what accountants can do for you.

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Let’s start with a disclaimer. Not all accountants do all of the things mentioned in this article. Some do more, some do less; some train, some do the work for you. All will help you with both your basic accounting needs, which includes bookkeeping and taxes. It’s always best to speak to someone you’re thinking about using to do your accounting to see all the things they might provide.
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10 Ways To Change How You Think About Money

Do you think the economy has been rough over the last few years? Are you worried about health care bills, unemployment, the stock market, and problems associated with Covid? Those are pretty tough things to have on your mind these days.

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There have been issues with money throughout history. We’re not alone in our struggles. We haven’t quite gone through another depression, but we’ve had some drastic lows in the last 12-13 years, and we’ve also had some high in between.
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5 Reasons Why You Might Need Financial Counseling

There are different types of financial counseling one might needy. The truth is most people need financial counseling in one way or another, sometimes multiple ways. Whether it’s to make money or save money or not get penalized because of how the money is used, it can help to speak to a professional.

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Does that make sense? If not, don’t get discouraged. We’re offering 5 reasons why you might need financial counseling, and what type of counseling you might need.
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How Long Do Collection Agencies Have To Collect On A Debt?

A common question asked about collection agencies is how long they have to collect on a debt. The simple answer is they can try to collect as long as they want to. After that answer, the truth get a lot more complicated.

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was enacted in 1970 and last revised in 2004, has rules for how long a bad debt can stay on a credit report. The statute of limitations for that is seven years. Afterwards, a collection agency could decide to still try to collect from the debtor, but they have no power behind them to make a debtor pay them anything. Almost no collection agencies will contact debtors after this time limit, because it’s a waste of their time.
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